It was first introduced in House Bill 1173 last summer.
Simply put, that bill would make the leader of the Department of Public Instruction also be the chair of the State Board of Education.
Now it is being introduced as HB 17 – on the first day of the NCGA long session – with almost the exact same verbiage.
If this constitutional amendment passes, then it would bring to fruition a six-year plan for an ultraconservative, privatizing segment of lawmakers to fully take over public education in North Carolina.
Look at this timeline.
What that did was to replace the check and balance that the State Board provided against DPI with no check and balance. Now imagine when both the State Board and DPI are led by the same person who blatantly kowtows to the wishes of one Phil Berger, Tim Moore, and the powers in the NCGA.
The other part of HB17 is “All non-ex officio members of the State Board of Education will be elected to
four-year terms from the State Congressional Districts.”
State Board members already come different regions in the state that they represent.
Now look at that time line above again, specifically 2016. This state is embroiled in trying to lawfully reset congressional district lines and keep them from being unlawfully gerrymandered. This NCGAS is not good at that. In fact, they have been stopped in court at trying to draw lines based on racial makeup of districts.
This state has more registered democrats than republicans but the way that the maps are currently drawn skew heavily toward the party with fewer registered voters.
What HB17 would do is allow for the State Board of Education to have its ex-officio members be elected with gerrymandered congressional maps and then serve on a board that caters specifically to the people who drew those gerrymandered maps in the first place. That board would then be controlled by a person who controls DPI and is loyal to those same gerrymandering people.
It doesn’t end there. Look who the primary sponsor of the bill is.
Funny that the same governing body that is moving this bill through the current session also had a committee put together to “reimagine” what public education in NC should be in response to the LEANDRO decision that so many in Raleigh refuse to acknowledge. Like Berger. Like Tim Moore. Like Catherine Truitt.
Look who the chairs of the committee are.
It’s part of a power grab. Pure and simple.
That constitutional amendment should be struck down.
Pure and simple.
For the sake of LEANDRO.